Twitter can be a freewheeling and kind of fun place. People type fast, and they have to condense their comments to 140 characters, which makes for short and sometimes terse comments. They also often try to be funny in that short space. And every now and then, little disputes flare up.
That happened this afternoon between myself and the crack team of new media superstars that run Sean Bielat’s Twitter account. It all started with this conversation between “Team Bielat” (as they like to call themselves) and one Ryan Coleman:
Coleman’s first tweet was classic Twitter – tweaking Team Bielat for having just recommended following an unseemly number of accounts (for the non-Twitter-literate, “#ff” stands for “follow Friday,” which is a tradition that has grown up on Twitter of, on Friday, recommending to your followers a bunch of other accounts that they might enjoy reading). Bielat’s response was rather terse and ungenerous, as Coleman noted in his amusing response.
I found the whole thing funny, and also apparently reflective of a certain lack of a sense of humor, so I passed it along thusly:
My initial assessment of Team Bielat’s lack of humor was proven correct by the following little back-and-forth that then erupted:
Now, I don’t like being called a liar. So, in the politest way possible, I asked for some clarification, which Team Bielat of course was totally unable to supply.
So I called them out on it.
By this point, social media maven Greg Reibman (formerly of GateHouse Media, the community newspaper chain, and now an independent media consultant) had taken note. But, interestingly, Team Bielat had utterly caved on its claim that I had lied about something, as I pointed out to Greg.
“FTW,” if you didn’t know, is short for “for the win.”
Lastly, I loved this hilarious faux shock at my use of a mildly off-color expression (which, as you know if you’ve spent more than about 5 minutes on Twitter, is far from the worst thing out there).
Yes, “vile language.” I’m sure Sean Bielat’s tender ears never heard such startling words while he was a Marine.
And that was that. “Team Bielat” never told me what it was, exactly, that they were accusing me of lying about, and we all moved on to bigger and better things. Another day in the Twittersphere. Always nice to win one. 🙂
UPDATE: A subsequent tweet suggests that Team Bielat thought my “lie” was saying “We don’t work for JK3.” Well, we don’t. Pretty straightforward.